They are measuring the rain and snowfall across the West in feet, not inches. Here in our little nook on the eastern terminus of the Klamaths we have switched from snow to rain and the foot-and-a-half of fluff in my backyard is now half a foot of glop. Puddles abound in the open spots and sheets of rainwater are racing each other down the street. We’ve not reached the forecasted highs either of the last two days and the snow is melting grudgingly. That’s probably a good thing—there’s enough chance of flooding already and sun and warmth will only add to the mess.
And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. (Genesis 7:19)
I normally love the winter. It’s hot and dry most of the time here and I welcome the cold, rain, and snow. But this storm is an atmospheric river, the so-called Pineapple Express, and it is wreaking havoc all across the land. Both local ski areas have had to close their doors more than once due to extreme conditions. Skiers like me want there to be piles and piles of fresh snow with more on the way, but sometimes the storms are too much and the hazards too great even for the powderhounds. But that’s a small thing, important to me, but it pales in the face of flooded homes, power outages, and highway accidents. Some folks have taken a real beating from Mother Nature this time around and it’s going to be a few more days yet. Thursday we are supposed to get sunshine here but temperatures will remain just a hair above freezing.
So, here I sit in the midst of The Deluge trying to keep my spirits up. I desperately need to go for a nice long walk. It’s one of the things I love no matter the season but particularly on a crisp winter morning. The streets are a mess however, and walkers have to share the semi-plowed roadway with the vehicles as most of the sidewalks are still slush heaps. The cars are going too fast and spraying icy crud all about. Hard to get into a good rhythm when it is slick and variable underfoot and the drivers are too stressed to pay attention to pedestrians. Not to mention that I torqued my knee on my last ski trip and I’m hobbled. I can move around like an 80-year old (and I mean no offense to my elders by that) but that won’t get my blood flowing. I spend half the day with my bum leg elevated anyway, so it’s not like I’m getting in any other exercise. Unless you count going outside to get more firewood from the rack—that’s about all I can get done right now.
This New Year is trying my patience. I’m not the gloomy type, really. I can be a bit of cynic, but I’m generally upbeat, or try to be, but this last week has been hard. I keep finding myself staring out the window, awed by the storm, longing for a break. Like I said I normally dig winter storms, but this one is a doozy. I’m upset about hurting myself, even if it seems to be merely a minor setback, not very serious, but irritating and discouraging nonetheless. I hope I can walk downtown this Friday for a pint or two, a meal, and the new show at Liberty Arts. We’ll see. The aches will have to subside a bit and the sidewalks will have to be cleared. (I feel bad about failing to shovel in front of my property, I normally do and take pride in it, but my knee won’t take it.) But that’s the plan. Only thinking a day or two ahead at this point, with the weather the way it is that’s about all I can do.
Stay warm and dry, my friends.